Sunday, 1 November 2020

Log #214 - Van Morrison's Uncommon One

Eddy Bamyasi

Common One from 1980 is a bit of a forgotten outlier in the Van Morrison catalogue. For me it sounds like a mix of Astral Weeks* and Avalon Sunset ie. the freeform stringy impro of the former (especially on the extended stream of consciousness Summertime In England) merging with the sax and organ groove commerciality of the latter (like on Satisfied). I can forgive Van banging on about all his favourite poets again in the former (Joyce, Blake, Eliot, Wordsworth, Coleridge etc).

*Having said that the dynamic brassy Spirit with its strident chorus reminds me more of the Moondance tracks.

The album ends with the ambient When Heart Is Open. This lengthy peaceful piece has elements of Small Hours by John Martyn.

No wonder the rock critics of the time didn't get it; this is music outside the pop mainstream, and even Morrison's own earlier musical territory. 

Allmusic

There's no doubt that Van Morrison was attempting something a bit different with this easy listening laid back jazz infused album. An approach that yields mixed results. Critics were initially unimpressed but over the years Common One has become a bit of a lost Morrison classic. I wouldn't quite go that far but it's certainly a pleasant unobtrusive record that I can imagine putting on in the background on a rainy Sunday afternoon (like a lot of his others actually). 

I love the cover, and it graces this week's post.

Van Morrison - Common One
Depeche Mode - Violator
Chicago - Greatest Hits
Weather Report Heavy Weather
The Mahavishnu Orchestra Inner Mounting Flame
Return To Forever Romantic Warrior

The beginning of Romantic Warrior surprised me. Medieval Overture opens with a Terry Riley like keyboard pattern, before it veers off on a number of tangents. Just in this 5 minute track alone I can hear so much: Yes, Rush, Philip Glass, Uriah Heep, Jethro Tull, Pat Metheny, King Crimson and Frank Zappa. The musicianship is astounding - a particular shout out for the drummer Lenny White who ratta-tats away like a maniac.

Who were they? - well, as it turns out although I've never heard of the band I have heard of the individuals (and I have seen the album cover around before, although I may be mixing it up with the Quicksilver Messenger Service one?). 

Chick Corea – keyboards
Stanley Clarke – bass
Lenny White – drums
Al Di Meola – guitar

It's somewhere in between my other jazz fusion discoveries of recent weeks - Weather Report and Mahavishnu Orchestra, but much nearer the latter.


Like my posts? Please send me a coffee: 

  Buy Me A Coffee



About The Author

Eddy Bamyasi

Eddy is a music writer from Brighton, England, named after a Can record. Each Sunday he logs and reviews the albums that happen to be in his vintage Pioneer 6-CD magazine changer, amongst other things.

0 comments:

Post a comment

Powered by Blogger.

Leading Artists (by appearance)

neil young (26) van morrison (22) john martyn (18) tangerine dream (18) felice brothers (16) pink floyd (14) led zeppelin (13) black sabbath (12) brian eno (12) whitest boy alive (12) bonnie prince billy (11) can (11) david sylvian (11) radiohead (11) talk talk (11) beatles (10) cluster (10) cocteau twins (10) laura marling (10) nick cave (10) afro celts (9) beck (9) bob dylan (9) fennesz (9) genesis (9) iron and wine (8) loscil (8) midlake (8) paolo nutini (8) tom waits (8) autechre (7) foals (7) nucleus (7) richard hawley (7) stars of the lid (7) camel (6) david bowie (6) dj vadim (6) efterklang (6) elo (6) fairport convention (6) harmonia (6) holger czukay (6) kings of convenience (6) low (6) luke vibert (6) matthew e white (6) miles davis (6) sahb (6) the doobie brothers (6) tord gustavsen (6) war on drugs (6) william basinski (6) arovane (5) bear's den (5) black keys (5) boards of canada (5) bob marley (5) calexico (5) edgar froese (5) father john misty (5) hawkwind (5) jan jelinek (5) king crimson (5) mouse on mars (5) nils frahm (5) public service broadcasting (5) robert plant (5) sigur ros (5) takemitsu (5) arbouretum (4) badly drawn boy (4) budgie (4) carly simon (4) carole king (4) decemberists (4) emeralds (4) four tet (4) handsome family (4) hidden orchestra (4) jethro tull (4) jj cale (4) john legend (4) klaus schulze (4) kruder and dorfmeister (4) manuel gottsching (4) opeth (4) penguin cafe orchestra (4) ravi shankar (4) soft hair (4) steely dan (4) the unthanks (4) tim hecker (4) trees (4) ulrich schnauss (4) KLF (3) alan parsons project (3) alex harvey (3) alison krauss (3) alva noto (3) barclay james harvest (3) bon iver (3) bonobo (3) caitlin canty (3) caribou (3) chicago (3) coldplay (3) curtis mayfield (3) david crosby (3) deep purple (3) depeche mode (3) eilen jewell (3) enid (3) fleetwood mac (3) floating points (3) free (3) gorillaz (3) gram parsons (3) grateful dead (3) grobschnitt (3) incredible string band (3) james morrison (3) jill scott (3) john grant (3) john surman (3) keith jarrett (3) kraftwerk (3) lal waterson (3) last shadow puppets (3) lift to experience (3) lynyrd skynyrd (3) mahavishnu orchestra (3) manitoba (3) mike oldfield (3) mike waterson (3) monolake (3) neu! (3) palace brothers (3) philip glass (3) popol vuh (3) quantic (3) rodriguez (3) rokia traore (3) rolling stones (3) rory gallagher (3) roxy music (3) rush (3) simon and garfunkel (3) sly and the family stone (3) steve hillage (3) suede (3) sufjan stevens (3) the comet is coming (3) tim buckley (3) wagon christ (3) wilco (3) 4hero (2) abc (2) ac/dc (2) al stewart (2) amon duul II (2) aphex twin (2) arctic monkeys (2) baka beyond (2) band of horses (2) belle and sebastian (2) blue oyster cult (2) blue states (2) bonzo dog band (2) boris salchow (2) burial (2) cardigans (2) carlos barbosa-lima (2) charles mingus (2) chemical brothers (2) chris rea (2) cinematic orchestra (2) compilations (2) crosby stills nash (2) david darling (2) death in vegas (2) debussy (2) dj shadow (2) doors (2) earl sweatshirt (2) eloy (2) emilie simon (2) erik satie (2) farben (2) festivals (2) fleet foxes (2) francois and the atlas mountains (2) fripp and eno (2) gas (2) gong (2) granados (2) green on red (2) griffin anthony (2) jazzland (2) jean sibelius (2) jeff buckley (2) john coltrane (2) johnny flynn (2) josh t pearson (2) julian cope (2) kamasi washington (2) kanye west (2) kate bush (2) ketil bjornstad (2) la dusseldorf (2) lambchop (2) larkin poe (2) little feat (2) ludovico einaudi (2) magma (2) marianne faithfull (2) marvin gaye (2) mike lazarev (2) money mark (2) morton feldman (2) nektar (2) nightmares on wax (2) ninja (2) nirvana (2) nitin sawhney (2) peace (2) porya hatami (2) prefuse 73 (2) prem joshua (2) randy newman (2) robert fripp (2) ryan adams (2) scorpions (2) scott and maria (2) scott matthews (2) servants of science (2) soft machine (2) steve miller (2) susumu yokota (2) talvin singh (2) the who (2) thievery corporation (2) traffic (2) truckstop honeymoon (2) ufo (2) up bustle and out (2) weather report (2) wiley (2) willard grant conspiracy (2) wishbone ash (2) wyclef jean (2) yes (2) abba (1) acid mothers temple and the cosmic inferno (1) aimee mann (1) air (1) alabama 3 (1) alice coltrane (1) amadou and mariam (1) andy shauf (1) anthony hamilton (1) april wine (1) arcade fire (1) ashra (1) asia (1) badger (1) barber (1) beach boys (1) bee gees (1) beirut (1) bert jansch (1) beuno vista social club (1) bill laswell (1) biosphere (1) bjork (1) blow monkeys (1) bob geldof (1) bob holroyd (1) bob seger (1) bombay bicycle club (1) boubacar traore (1) broken social scene (1) bruce springsteen (1) bruch (1) byline (1) captain beefheart (1) cardi b (1) cast (1) cat stevens (1) catfish and the bottlemen (1) charles and eddie (1) chopin (1) chris child (1) christine and the queens (1) chuck prophet (1) climax blues band (1) cosmic jokers (1) crowded house (1) d'angelo (1) daft punk (1) david goodrich (1) davy graham (1) dexy's midnight runners (1) dolly collins (1) donald fagen (1) dreadzone (1) dub pistols (1) eagles (1) echo and the bunnymen (1) eden espinosa (1) eels (1) elbow (1) electric ape (1) emerson lake and palmer (1) erlend oye (1) erukah badu (1) essays (1) euphony in electronics (1) faust (1) feist (1) flaming lips (1) future days (1) gamma (1) gang of four (1) gentle giant (1) goat roper rodeo band (1) godspeed you black emperor (1) gorecki (1) groove armada (1) grover washington jr. (1) gun (1) guru guru (1) hatfield and the north (1) hats off gentlemen it's adequate (1) heron (1) hiss golden messenger (1) hozier (1) human league (1) idles (1) india arie (1) iron and wire (1) isaac hayes (1) james brown (1) james joys (1) jamie t (1) janelle monae (1) jayhawks (1) jean-michel jarre (1) jerry paper (1) jim croce (1) jimi hendrix (1) jjcale (1) john cale (1) john mclaughlin (1) jon hassell (1) jurassic 5 (1) kacey musgraves (1) keith berry (1) kid loco (1) king tubby (1) king's consort (1) kings of leon (1) kirk degiorgio (1) kodomo (1) lenny kravitz (1) lighthouse (1) love supreme (1) luc vanlaere (1) lumineers (1) mark pritchard (1) mark ronson (1) me'shell ndegeocello (1) messiaen (1) metallica (1) micah frank (1) michael hedges (1) michael jackson (1) mike west (1) mitski (1) modest mouse (1) moody blues (1) morte macabre (1) motorhead (1) national health (1) nick drake (1) nusrat fateh ali khan (1) oasis (1) omd (1) orb (1) orquesta reve (1) other lives (1) oval (1) paco pena (1) paladin (1) panda bear (1) pat metheny (1) paulo nutini (1) pentangle (1) pierre bensusan (1) portishead (1) proprio (1) protoje (1) purcell (1) pussy riot (1) queen (1) rainbow (1) ramsay midwood (1) rautavaara (1) rem (1) rhythm kings (1) richard strauss (1) robyn (1) roni size (1) ryuichi sakamoto (1) sada sat kaur (1) saga (1) sam jordan (1) sammy hagar (1) santana (1) scaramanga silk (1) shakti (1) shirley collins (1) shostakovich (1) snafu (1) snatam kaur (1) sparks (1) st germain (1) stanford (1) steeleye span (1) stereolab (1) steve reich (1) styx (1) supertramp (1) susumo yokota (1) t bone walker (1) terry riley (1) the band (1) the clash (1) the jayhawks (1) the streets (1) the wreks (1) tricky (1) tycho (1) uriah heep (1) velvet underground (1) venetian snares (1) vladislav delay (1) whiskeytown (1) whitesnake (1) william ackerman (1) yngwie j malmsteen (1) zhou yu (1) μ-Ziq (1)